Arsenal manager Unai Emery will once again have sparse resources at his disposal this summer with the club set to hand him a mere £45million to spend in the transfer market.
Having been told he could just make loan signings during the January transfer window, the Gunners boss will again be forced to work within stringent financial boundaries in the summer as he looks to reshape his squad.
Here, Sportsmail assesses why the ninth-richest club in world football finds themselves consigned to the bargain bins.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery will once again have sparse resources at his disposal this summer
How much money do Arsenal make every year?
The last set of financial results saw the club post a healthy after-tax profit of £56.5million, up on the £35.3million from the previous results. It suggests Arsenal are still strong financially. But according to the latest Deloitte Money League, their total revenue was down from £419m to £389m. Yet the fact they are ninth-richest club in world football indicates they still have significant financial clout.
Is Kroenke taking too much money out?
It’s an issue that has infuriated sections of the Arsenal fanbase in recent years. But perhaps the more pertinent question is why isn’t Kroenke putting more money in?
Well, and Arsenal fans won’t want to hear this – under the businessman’s control, the club have spent significantly on the playing squad in recent years. The wage bill has gone through the roof, the club smashed their transfer record three times in the space of five years on Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Arsenal have spent extensively during the recent Kroenke era. Whether the expenditure has proved value for money is an altogether different argument.
Arsenal have spent extensively during the recent Stan Kroenke era with very few results
What are the restrictions on the wage bill?
Their wage bill is at the absolute limit, mainly due to the decision to award Ozil a contract worth £350,000-per-week. The deal essentially means the club – in terms of playing contracts – are punching well above their weight.
The repercussion of that deal are starting to take hold. A restricted playing budget in terms of wages and fees is something manager Unai Emery will have to contend with moving forward. Under Financial Fair Play regulations, clubs can only increase their wage bill by seven per cent per season. Arsenal are approaching that threshold with the current wage bill around £210,000,000 in the latest financial results, hence the restrictions.
Wage bill is at the limit, due to the decision to give Mesut Ozil £350,000-per-week
And who are the top earners?
Ozil by a country mile. Aubameyang earns close to £200,000-per-week, Henrikh Mkhitaryan is on £160,000-per-week while Lacazette’s deal is worth in the region of £140,000-per-week. There are then a host of players earning at least £100,000-per-week. In short: Arsenal’s wage structure is at breaking point.
Why are they letting Aaron Ramsey leave on a free?
The decision is believed to have been taken by Emery. But the financial implications on the decision are clear. Ramsey, rightly so, would have expected a new contract worth well in-excess of his current £100,000-per-week wage – perhaps close to double that sum. The club were prepared to give him an improved deal, and Ramsey was ready to sign. But the offer was eventually retracted, with sources claiming Emery – knowing the budget he is working to – believes the money could be used more efficiently elsewhere.
But surely they will have to replace him with a similar high-earning player?
They will have to replace him for sure. But whether they make a like-for-like signing remains to be seen. The club’s recruitment team have been working under remit of the club’s restricted playing budget. Matteo Guendouzi arrived under the radar for a fee of around £7million in the summer. He looks to have a big future ahead of him. Arsenal will be hoping to unearth more low-key gems this summer.
How much has Mesut Ozil’s huge contract cost them?
A whopping £63million. An incredible amount of money. Given Emery does not view Ozil as a part of his long-term plans – an incredible mistake.
What other gaffes have they made with transfer dealings?
Allowing players to run down their contracts. Ramsey – a proven Premier League player – has been allowed to leave for nothing. In today’s market, Ramsey would be worth in the region of £50million.
Danny Welbeck – an England international – is set to leave for nothing in the summer when his deal expires. Jack Wilshere was allowed to leave for nothing last summer.
Rejecting a £60million offer from Manchester City for Alexis Sanchez in the summer of 2017 only to sell him in a swap deal with Mkhitaryan six months later. Mkhitaryan earns more than Sanchez did at the Emirates. And there’s plenty more examples.
Rejecting £60m from Manchester City for Alexis Sanchez to swap him was a huge error